Klickitat Valley Health (KVH) in Goldendale, Wash., is forging ahead with an environmentally responsible power strategy via the implementation of a hydrogen fuel cell power generation system developed by Kohler Power Systems in collaboration with Toyota Motor North America. 

The fuel cell power system combines Kohler and Toyota technologies to produce a zero-emission alternative for power generation. The installation, which will wrap up this fall, marks a significant step in KVH’s decarbonization efforts.

Jonathan Lewis, director of support services at KVH, says the fuel cell system will “make our community as resilient as possible for a myriad of emergency response scenarios and become an example of best practices for rural hospitals everywhere.”

Ultimately, the system will help the hospital meet its preparedness needs. Indeed, the advanced technology will reinforce the electrical infrastructure by including backup and secondary power generation that includes a hydrogen fuel cell to ensure uninterrupted operations. 

One factor that played into the hospital’s decision to use this technology was the availability of recent funding. As part of a grant program administered by the Biden-Harris administration to accelerate the domestic market for clean, low-cost hydrogen, seven regions were awarded a total of $7 billion in 2023.

The fuel cell will be tied directly into the main electrical service of the hospital’s medical-surgical wing. 

“By tying the fuel cell directly into the main buss, we maintain more systems in the event of an emergency than our current essential system supports,” Lewis says. “As a grid-connected energy source, it can reduce electrical demand or stand alone to support essential and non-essential electrical systems in the hospital. In grid failure mode, it will support the entire service with load shedding integration with our building automation system.”